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Featured Difficulty With Social Codes

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SteveNomad, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. SteveNomad

    SteveNomad Well-Known Member

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    The whole thing of Aspergers/AS being described as " difficulty with social codes " seems to cover so much about me:( and appears to help explain why I've been so alone so much of my life:coldsweat:.
    I just had such difficulty with it, combined with the circumstances of my life meaning I didn't quite connect with people:cry:, and me furthermore, I guess, tending to " send off the wrong vibrations " even when I tried to back normal, and turning people off - and so being so alone:joycat: ' I didn't even notice it that much, I was so used to it:astonished:.
     
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  2. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean, I am undiagnosed so expected to know what people intend, put up with vagueness and irritability from people. I have been exploited as I cannot identify exploitation and disguised shadiness, delays in my responses to people I should just say "Please talk to me in a way you would like to be spoken to" simple things like that. You are not alone.
     
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  3. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    "How does everybody just know that?" is probably the thing I've yelled most frequently in my life.
     
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  4. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's even hard to know you're having a difficulty with social codes sometimes, they certainly pass me by a good deal. Plus I can't always get my head around, why? As in, why does this social code matter.... even when I get what it is, it just seems pointless, or irrationally based.
     
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  5. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Stress prevents people from noticing social cues. It's not genetic. Getting rid of stress by correcting distorted beliefs makes it much easier to pick up on those cues.
     
  6. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Pointless people are needy for pointless conversation. This is social order at the lowest level.
     
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  7. Ezra

    Ezra Relax, it's just chaos.

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    It seems that people with autism crave social interaction, which seems to consist of a lot of small talk. Yet when they find themselves in such a situation, they feel trapped and want to escape from it.
     
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  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're talking about neurotypical people here, whereas difficulties in noticing social cues is common for people with autism. It's actually one of the central hallmarks of autism. Uta Frith noted it many many years ago and it can't be eradicated by psychological therapies, though we can mask to fit in once we discover the issue. Should we wish to do so.

    When we quote generalisations gained from a reading of the aims of a therapy, we do need to remember that these ideas apply to the majority neurotypical norms. Otherwise we would be doomed to saying misguided and misleading things on a forum where they don't apply.
     
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  9. groundhogy

    groundhogy Well-Known Member

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    Im supposed to be a normal. Although, lol, I’m not good at it sometimes.
    If I understand what you mean by the term “social codes”, they are hard to follow along with, even for normal people. And they can be stressful for normal people.
    Sometimes there are communications or there is information that can be had from people, but it’s not spoken.
    The classic example is that big Thanksgiving Dinner where lots of family and old relatives show up. Everyone is smiling hard. But there’s all those mean things everyone did to each other years ago. Or she doesn’t like her sisters husband. Or the family doesn’t approve of the way they let that autistic kid run around (thats the one i would get. Why dont you dicipline her?).
    It feels to me, inside my head, like these types of messages are processed in some subconsious spots in your brain. It can get exhausting. Very brain exausting so maybe it takes alot of energy.

    It also can be nice things, like flirting. Thats fun. That sort of gives you energy.

    But the info is gleaned from random fleeting things, like voice inflections, eye movements, body movements. Its not alot to go on, and can be easily misread.
     
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  10. groundhogy

    groundhogy Well-Known Member

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    And people that spend alot of time in that domain? I dont think they are enjoyable to be around usually. I’m like, hey, say what you mean. Its easier and honest.
     
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  11. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    My main problem is that half the time I'm not aware that there is a problem. I don't know that something is expected of me, then don't know that other people are in any way bothered by my lack of action. Or, I'm given (social) information, and I don't know what to do about it.

    A lot of social communication takes place through 'ememes', like emotion packets that get exchanged back and forth, and then the failure to spot one and then respond to it appropiately is seen as antisocial. I either don't pick up on the ememe, and then seem to ignore it, or I receive it, but don't know what do do with it, because I communicate with words and not ememes. When people talk, they use words, but often the words are not so important as the emotional message they carry. If someone asks "how are you?" it doesn't always mean that they want to ask about your health, it is a feelgood emotional exchange, and you are supposed to respond by sending another feelgood message in the form of "I'm fine, thank you, how are you?"

    I know the script for many of these 'ememes' but they are just scripts that I've learned to parrot to be polite, I don't really connect to people through chit chat and small talk, and that's why I'm always bored by it - I don't get out of it what other people do.
     
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  12. Els

    Els Well-Known Member

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    It's not unusual. To be honest when I talk to people unless I wear the mask that answers the expectations as I've cracked some social codes throught the years... There's no way I'd be interesting anyone. I don't mean anyone at all, I mean very very very few people, unless others are interested by using something I know or share a similar way of relating to the world (doesn't often happen). It's the same since primary school to be honest. Not knowing how to "play" and "enjoy" and "relate" to others while it's about games and indistinct social untold rules, not able to spend time with an other because it just ended up silent (don't know what to say/do). But I had suddenly friends inside the classroom because I could explain stuffs we were doing and usually (not all the time) was faster. Outside of the classroom, I'm no interesting unless I put the mask of what I know people like, become somewhat funny and enthousiast about things that don't interest me at all.
    To make friends, to be honest you have to make yourself interesting and be interested in things in them that you don't believe are interesting. At least that's what I learned, I'm not saying it's THE truth, but that's how I deal with that. Learn about subjects that interest others, manufacture a point of view about those subjects, and try to have a "back and forth conversation" and notice what the other one's personality is like - it's not like yours. But yes it's tiring and it asks a lot of learning and observation about human behaviour. It's not natural to me.

    Having reliable people around you who can explain to you a situation or even warn you about something is important, at least it was very important when I was younger. I made a lot of mistakes I didn't understand (when learning to mask and do what NT people would, for example I learned to look at people in the eyes and smile when meeting them, but as I'm a woman it was frequently happening that men thought I was flirting while I wasn't, and then they started flirting with me and I wasn't because I didn't understand what it meant socially. I had difficulties understanding that they were flirting until being trapped and the situation being already difficult to get out of. That's an example, I have plenty of stuffs I had to manage to go backwards because of learning to appear as "being open - enjoyable", but not understanding the social situations that follows!).
    Difficulty with social codes coupled with my determination to "be normal" and "make friends" and "have relationships with people" has put me into a high number of weird situations because althrough I was playing as if I was the same, I still didn't get other people and what they were doing at all. To be honest, what I'm lacking was even bigger than anything I could've imagine was actually going on. I'm sure it's still the case.

    I was trying to be nice and socialize "correctly" but was completely clueless about what happened around me.

    I have a safety rule, that's not to trust anything people say unless they FACTUALLY were reliable many times in the past. If they were unreliable, I trust that they are unreliable, not what they're saying. I used to trust what people say too easily. Now, I rely on facts and my own judgement, I make no excuses unless I am willing to (I never feel forced anymore), that's my safety rule. I won't trust anyone I don't know to be reliable, and I won't trust anyone who has proven himself/herself to not be reliable. I don't trust what other people tell me about their feelings. I trust their actions, the facts that prove their feelings or invalidate them. Throwing a glass of water in my face because you love me isn't love. Sorry. Fact comes first, always, not the justification of a bad action. That's an other thing I understood too litterally my entire life, "there's something between us" (and other expressions referring to that). No, there's not. There's how I relate to you and to the world, and there's how you relate to me and to the world. It's not mutual nor reciprocical, there's no equal feeling "between" two people. I didn't even realize that I understood this saying litterally, but I based my relationships, even friendships, on something that might be between us. But it's a metaphor, it doesn't actually exist. It was confusing my social understanding a lot !!! I thought I had to work on maintaining a link that actually doesn't exist. There is the way I relate to an other person and the way the other person relates to me through. But taking the metaphor of a "link" too litterally was making me misunderstand social codes/actions a lot. I don't know what else I'm doing/thinking upon a too litteral understanding of things that don't exist to be honest. Certainly plenty.
    I don't yield to tantrums, intimidation, and so on. An other thing I didn't understand about social codes. Althrough I can feel bad about something because I honestly do, other people... play. Yup. Couldn't believe it. It was everywhere in movies, TV shows, anime, warnings in children's stories but I was super blind to it. It helps me now to avoid assuming anything about other people - accepting that we're really different and I can't understand them.
    Whenever I make the assumption that I understand an other person, I'm wrong. That was also impairing my ability to understand social codes : I thought at some point that I did understand more or less. Lol. I don't.

    That's the main issue I have with social codes, my own safety. Isolation is secondary now.
     
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  13. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Story of my life! Ever since starting secondary school and feeling like everyone else went to some sort of "how to be a teenager" summer school which no one told me about I've been desperately trying to learn all the social norms and cues which everyone else seems to figure out instinctively :expressionless:
     
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  14. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Yes , l totally see Ms Els point. l think l am easy-going but then to 75% men in employment - that translates to you are available so then you have to find a medium ground of l am a byatch/l am nice.

    Then the next hurdle was not saying correct things, so l now concentrate on finding humor to replace anything that needs replacing. Somebody said something kind of strange last night, l flipped it to humor, end of subject. It didn't take wings and fly into the rumination chamber of my tiny brain.

    During lockdown, l was very relaxed just hanging by myself. Saying hi to the female cashier was plenty for me.

    Tend to think everyone suffers from uncomfortableness. Not just us. Some people suffer from l am better then you. Some people suffer from l am so fake it's obvious. Some people suffer from l am insecure. There are a lot of human fragilities that you tend to feel more relaxed after awhile. Because face it- everybody masks to some extent in life.
     
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  15. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    People with autism are neurotypical. There is no scientific evidence that people with autism have different brains than anyone else. I used to struggle with social cues but I overcame it and don't have that problem anymore.
     
  16. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    It's because everyone gets depressed when they're alone. Social interaction alleviates depression.


    That's because of stress and anxiety.

    Stress -> avoid people -> get depressed -> talk to people -> stress-> avoid people -> get depressed -> talk to people -> stress-> avoid people -> get depressed -> talk to people -> stress. That's why depression and anxiety commonly occur together.
     
  17. Ezra

    Ezra Relax, it's just chaos.

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    Not everyone. For some, like me, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

    And for me personally I consider small talk too mentally confining. Even engaging in live internet chat sessions. That's what makes me want to break away from it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  18. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Except for the ones that don't.
     
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  19. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    I used to think I liked being alone and that I wasn't depressed. I learned that when people have been depressed since they were a baby or a toddler, it's all they know, so they aren't aware they are depressed. I thought my symptoms of depression (low energy, being unmotivated, processing information slowly, flat affect) were genetic until they went away after I changed the way I think. If you took a quick online screening test for depression, I think there's a good chance it would say you're depressed. I think most people on this site who feel content being alone are actually depressed but just don't realize it.

    10 question screening for depression - Depression Test


    I used to feel that way. I suppressed my emotions and convinced myself I was content so I didn't feel lonely. After I changed my thinking, I stopped suppressing my emotions and I started needing to talk to people more often.
     
  20. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    I used to think I liked being alone and that I wasn't depressed. I learned that when people have been depressed since they were a baby or a toddler, it's all they know, so they aren't aware they are depressed. I thought my symptoms of depression (low energy, being unmotivated, processing information slowly, flat affect) were genetic until they went away after I changed the way I think. If you took a quick online screening test for depression, I think there's a good chance it would say you're depressed. I think most people on this site who feel content being alone are actually depressed but just don't realize it.

    10 question screening for depression - Depression Test